Bucks County History: Influential Counterculture Activist Spent His Last Days in Solebury Township

Abbie Hoffman in 1989, just before his death
Image via Wikipedia (Public Domain).
One of the most infamous figures of the 1960s, Hoffman's legacy remains an important part of American history.

The long and complicated story of one of the most well-known figures of the 1960s came to an end in Bucks County.

Abbie Hoffman, a firebrand of the hippie movement, an influential anti-war activist during the Vietnam War, and the founder of the Youth International Party, also known as the Yippies, died in his Solebury Township apartment on April 12, 1989, from an “intentional and self-inflicted” drug overdose. He was 52 years old.

According to the Chicago Tribune, his apartment, described as a “converted turkey coop”, was located on Sugan Road in the vicinity of New Hope.

Before his tragic death, Hoffman was a well-known name around America. He was a loud and impactful voice that rallied against the war in Vietnam and, around the same time, came to prominence as one of the “Chicago Seven”, a group of protesters that were charged with conspiracy related to political demonstrations.

A native of Worchester, Massachusetts, Hoffman seemed to be at every major political rally of the late 1960s and early 1970s. From the March on the Pentagon to the 1968 Democratic National Convention to Woodstock, Hoffman’s voice could be heard and made an impact on those in attendance.

Hoffman was even involved in a demonstration in Bucks County.

The Point Pleasant water project was designed to draw some 95 million gallons a day from the Delaware River to relieve drought conditions in Bucks and Montgomery counties. Hoffman was one of many who were in opposition to the project due to environmental implications.

Learn more about Hoffman and his influence on American culture at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has a long list of files on him and his activities.


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